A dedicated circuit is designed to make sure enough power is available for a specific appliance without overloading the system.
The term “dedicated circuit” is a layman's term for what the National Electric Code or NFPA 70 calls an “individual branch circuit”.
Each item on an individual branch circuit has its own circuit breaker in the electrical box. The National Electrical Code or NFPA 70, Section 422 requires an individual branch circuit for:
- Range Hood IF connected by means of a flexible cord (not hard wired) per Section 422.16(4)
- Central heating equipment per Section 422.12
Electrical loads for appliances should be considered so they don't overload the circuit they are connected to. So it's best practice to provide an individual branch circuit for these items, to avoid overloading and tripping the circuit breaker that supplies their power:
- Electric ranges
- Wall ovens
- Garbage disposals
- Air conditioning units
- Water heaters
- Garage door openers
- Sump pumps
- Water pumps
- Central vacuums
- Whirlpools/Jacuzzis/hot tubs/saunas
- Large Copy Machines
- Vending Machines
- Other special equipment or items with a motor
An individual branch circuit may also be used to prevent electrical interference from disturbing sensitive or special equipment and computers.